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Talking Kids

Young people have so much energy and are always on the go – trying out new experiences that tickle their fancies without much thought of the consequences. Taking this as a challenge, Kelantan FPA decided to talk about adolescent health with youth through youth by youth (Y2Y young peer educators).

An effective strategy is via Roadshows by young peer educators in reaching out to their peers in secondary schools. In 2002, with funding from Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and blessings from the Kelantan State Director of Education, Kelantan FPA conducted three-hour long Roadshows at 10 secondary schools in Kelantan, focusing on HIV/AIDS.

The objective was to correct misconception/misunderstanding of HIV/AIDS and to commit the youth to sharing this increased knowledge with their friends in an effort to change behaviour and adopt responsible living. After each roadshow, comments such as, “We have so much fun learning about something which we thought we knew”, “It’s unexpectedly not boring at all”, “I would like to get my friends to join if they have a chance”, were encouragement for the Y2Y young peer educators to continue this programme.

And continue they will! In fact, during the Roadshows, two to four youths from each school were identified and recruited for the Y2Y Youth Peer Educators Training. Hence there will be more and more youth peer educators.

This year Kelantan FPA has successfully obtained funding from Ford Motor Company to do similar Roadshows in 12 secondary schools in Kelantan. There will also be a seminar for young people, a 3 day course for new peer educators and a 2 day skills-building camp.

The Roadshows will continue into 2004.

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